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Why Counting Calories Is Making You Fat

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The Big Calorie Lie: Why Counting Calories Is Making You Fat

HAPPY SPRING from your Go To Personal Trainers for busy men and women over 40 in St Pete & Tierra Verde !


I just love this time of year with the humidity free coolness to the air and the extra hours every night to enjoy all that St Pete  has to offer. People are pouring into our st pete boot camp group fitness and weight loss programs as spring and summer’s skin bearing clothing starts to bring thoughts of “dieting” into their heads. 


1 Bag of Skinny Pop Popcorn: 150 calories, 100 Calorie Yogurt, Fat Free Dressing: 10 calories. Sound familiar?

If you are reading this, you’ve probably tried cutting and counting calories to lose weight or you might have even done so under the advice of a personal trainer and,  It worked great …. until it didn’t and you gained all of those pounds back plus a few. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone.


For years I’ve said Americans are overweight because of “portion distortion” and too many “diet foods”. I founded Custom Bodies (Now Fitness St Pete I Tierra Verde Fitness) 20 years ago on the principles of serving sizes and exchanges based on food groups, teaching people how the “calories” from their foods equated to servings from different groups and how to eat proper portions.


After about 15 years as a personal trainer, I started to notice a disconnect between research and what “experts” (including myself) were teaching others about calories. I became fascinated and it led me to more in depth research. As I tested out my “theories” on our private training clients and group fitness members, I knew I was onto something. People were losing tons of fat and inches, obliterating carb cravings and finding themselves amazed if they did log their food into their ap and saw how many “calories” they were actually eating.


“Count Ingredients not calories”  became our mantra and it revolutionized the way our clients were eating and thinking about food ! “Eat Smarter Not Less” became  our new tagline and the rest, as they say, is history.


So, here are the 5 biggest lies I’ve discovered about “counting calories” and the facts that will set you free from ever having to count another one while you achieve a body that looks, feels and performs better than it has in years (maybe ever)!

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1. You Think Calories are a magical thing and simply cutting them from food and increasing them from activity will magically help you achieve a body that  looks and feels amazing

FACT: While it sounds good in theory. The reality is that Americans spend 4 BILLION dollars a year on diets based on calories and gadgets designed to track

calories  and we are becoming more obese and unhealthy by the decade.

Calories aren’t a mythical, magical creature. Essentially,they are nothing but a measure of how “energy” a food contains or your bodies spends during activity.

Calories don’t tell the whole picture. I can put “enriched wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), palm and canola oil and modified palm oil, cocoa, corn starch, corn flour, corn syrup, salt, baking soda, natural and artificial flavor, soy lecithin,  ammonium bicarbonate,” into a package , label it ‘fit and active” because it only has 100 calories.

From Scientific American: Science Reveals Why Calorie Counts Are All Wrong

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2. You Think All calories are equal.

FACT: Not all calories are created equal. Different macronutrients (carbs, fats, proteins) are processed by the body differently. Chemicals and preservatives also impact the way a “calorie” is processed and utilized by your body.

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3. You Think Eating 1000 or 1200 calories or less will make you thin, lean and have you in a body you love because every major magazine, diet book and diet  food company revolves around the 100 or 1200 calorie diet.

FACT:  These numbers are pretty arbitrary based on the “average” metabolic rate of a given person based on nothing

other than age, weight and gender. They do not take into account individual activity level or those who want to add lean muscle while they strip fat. (HINT: if you are a woman over 30 or a man over 45, you WANT  to ad muscle whether your goal is to be “slim” , “toned” or “muscular”)

There is nothing particularly wrong with a 1200 calorie food plan for short periods of time as long as your macro nutrients are in the correct balance for optimum nutrition and maximization of TEF.

More From Fat Loss U
: How To Speed Up Your Slow Metabolism In 5 Easy Steps 

Counting calories leads to failure more often than not and usually leaves people fatter than they were before they started their last “diet”. The majority of the people with whom I’ve worked over my 20 year career as a personal trainer are women who were consuming 1000-1200 calories while they were “dieting” and men taking  in 1400 – 1600 calories. They would lose some weight and then gain it all back…… over and over and over.

If you starve yourself, your body slows down  your metabolism, burns muscle and stores fat. There are also endocrine and other issues which are the topic of a graphic I am creating at the moment.

If you have done one (or many) low calorie diets, you’ve probably noticed that when you started eating “normally” again after a  you gained all of your weight back .. plus a few.


Because your decimated your metabolism and burned muscle for energy. If this is you, you are not alone. Recent statistics put 77 % of Americans in the  “overweight” category and over 30% in the “obese” category.

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4. You think all you have to count calories and go on a 1000 or 1200 calorie a day diet one more time be and “be disciplined” to make it work this time.

Our clients have often heard me say “Weight Is Just A Symptom Of Lifestyle”. Basically, “Dieting” only tackles the symptom (being over weight and or associated health issues) instead of handling the underlying cause (e.g., what’s keeping

you from being at an ideal weight, unhealthy habits and lifestyle)
It’s a pardox of sorts because “dieting” in and of itself with calorie restriction,restriction of entire wholesome food groups and consumption of processed, chemical laden foods, is a VERY unhealthy habit.

Think of it like a clogged bathroom tub.
You call the plumber to come fit it he tells you the cure for your clogged tub is to stop using the tub. His solution fixed the symptom (the tub is not going to overflow) but not the cause (what’s causing the clog?). The cause of that clog in your “plumbing” is eating poor quality foods that throw your fat-burning, appetite-taming hormones out of whack and not moving enough.

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5. You think that tracking, monitoring and counting calories will reduce the stress of weight loss

Counting Calories makes you stressed.

In a  study from NCBI, researchers assigned healthy women into four groups. The researchers found that monitoring increased psychological stress, but restricting increased

physiological stress (cortisol levels) even when the subjects felt no psychological stress. In other words, your body is still  stressed out by dieting even if you don’t feel unhappy about it.


Chronic stress is the worst nightmare of someone who wants to lose weight. It deranges everything from your gut flora to your skin to your immune system on TOP of increasing your cortisol levels which will have a negative effect on your fat loss efforts. If you’re stressing over your diet, it’s undoing t least some (if not all) of the health benefits of the diet itself.

If you want to take the guess work, calorie counting and stress out of achieving your goals and avoid crash summer diets , Our Signature Resolution Reboot, Spring Challenge is a done for you Success Plan with 4 weeks of done for you meal plans, tasty recipes, success manuals and unlimited access to our pros and most successful
private clients and group training members in our private members only Facebook Group.

It’s going to teach you how to eat more, train less and turn your body into a fat burning machine while giving you the direction and accountability you need, plus you will get a ton of support . The Resolution Reboot Challenge Starts April 17th and there are 12 Spots Available. Just
 Click HERE to see if you qualify .

Personal Trainers St. Petersburg FL, Tierra Verde Personal Training

Committed To Your Success & Awesomeness,

Dianne Villano, Your Personal Body Shaping Expert

Fitness St Pete I Tierra Verde Fitness

P.S. Have you met Heather, the over 40 full time working mom tired of the ups and downs of yo yo dieting? Check out the amazing results she got with her personal trainers HERE 

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Dianne Villano

Your Personal Body Shaping Expert

Hello, my name is Dianne Villano. I help busy men and women over 35 who struggle to look and feel their best and teach them how to eat more, train less, and get better results than they’ve ever experienced.

St. Pete & Tierra Verde residents come to me when all else has failed and they have reached a breaking point of finally being ready to achieve the body of their dreams.

Raving Fans

"I didn’t think this weight loss program would be so easy! I dropped 20 pounds eating deliscious foods and working out 3X/week. I know I keep saying that but it’s true! At 63 years old I thought I’d never look and feel this good again! Seriously, I feel like 40 now" - Pattie A, Tierra Verde, Fl

"As a 10X full Ironman finisher, I foolishly came in thinking it would be easy given my background and boy was I wrong. Every time you think you’re getting the hang of it Dianne adds an extra twist to increase the difficulty . I lost 10 lbs and my strength increased." - Tony S , St Pete. Fl

"I had my doubts when I came in on the 14 day rapid results program, however I have become a true believer in the program. In 2 weeks, I had already begun seeing results, both physically and mentally. I feel better, make healthier food choices (most of the time), and am excited for every workout. I thoroughly enjoy the group setting and I appreciate the opportunity to develop new friendships with the other group members!" - Caren, St Pete

"After interviewing a number of different trainers, I met Dianne. My initial impression was that she was knowledgeable in her field and extremely enthusiastic. Being a physician, it was very important that I work with a trainer that had a solid understanding of the science behind the exercises, understood the importance of a multifaceted approach to to a wellness a lifestyle, including not only the physical exercise regimen but also the n nutritional and psychological aspects of their client in order to help them achieve a sustainable, healthy lifestyle for the long haul The bottom line is this: If you a are serious and committed to getting yourself in shape and developing a healthy a and sustainable nutrition and fitness program, then Custom Bodies is where you need to go….It’s as simple as that." - Dr. Michael Sprintz

14 Day Rapid Results


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